Wash. Post's Balz touted McCain's "advocacy of comprehensive immigration reform" -- which McCain no longer supports

››› ››› MEREDITH ADAMS

The Washington Post's Dan Balz asserted that Sen. John McCain's "advocacy of comprehensive immigration reform" is among the policy positions that help "paint a portrait of someone not cut from the traditional [Republican] party mold." In fact, McCain has abandoned his previous support for comprehensive immigration legislation, saying that he "would not" support his original comprehensive immigration proposal if it came up for a vote in the Senate.

In an April 22 entry on the washingtonpost.com political blog The Trail, Post staff writer Dan Balz asserted that Sen. John McCain's "advocacy of comprehensive immigration reform" is among the policy positions that help "paint a portrait of someone not cut from the traditional [Republican] party mold." In fact, McCain has abandoned his previous support for comprehensive immigration legislation during his campaign for the Republican nomination. McCain said on January 30 that he "would not" support his original comprehensive immigration proposal if it came up for a vote in the Senate, and now says that "we've got to secure the borders first" -- a position at odds with his prior assertion that border security could not be disaggregated from other aspects of comprehensive immigration reform without being rendered ineffective.

Indeed, in a February 20 article, The Post itself noted: "What McCain is saying has changed. Whereas once he firmly said that no immigration legislation could work unless it twinned tougher border enforcement with a guest-worker program and a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, he now maintains that sealing the border must come first."

From Balz's April 22 entry on The Trail:

If anyone can claim to be a different kind of Republican, it is probably McCain, but not necessarily in all the ways he is projecting this week. His first stop may have been Selma, but earlier this month, when he traveled to Memphis for the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., he apologized for originally opposing making King's birthday a state holiday in Arizona.

Nor has McCain been closely identified with efforts to rejuvenate the economies of hard-hit areas -- or with economic issues at all. He can touch down in places like Youngstown to draw attention to conditions and to speak sympathetically about what workers there have gone through and are still going through. But it may take considerable work over many months to demonstrate a true commitment to their agenda, as other Republicans have learned to their frustration.

The ways in which McCain is a different kind of Republican have been clear for many years -- and they are the reason why he has faced skepticism among those in the GOP base. His maverick style, his willingness to work cooperatively with Democrats, his occasional deviation from Republican orthodoxy, his willingness to compromise, his advocacy of comprehensive immigration reform -- all paint a portrait of someone not cut from the traditional party mold.

Those are attributes that have made McCain competitive with both Obama and Clinton in early general election match-ups. But in asking Americans to view him as a different kind of Republican, he faces an electorate that may believe it has this pitch before, from President Bush.

For better and worse, McCain is a different kind of Republican. But he will carry the burden of a damaged brand all the way through to November.

Posted In
Elections, Immigration, Immigration Reform
Network/Outlet
The Washington Post
Person
Dan Balz
Show/Publication
The Trail
Stories/Interests
John McCain, 2008 Elections
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